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Comment Re:Half standard (Score 1) 124

However, the quality of a lot of the JS is fairly low, and it may just be that the need for frameworks is driven to some extent by the Javascript language itself, not merely the need to cope with IE.

The framework business (at least in jQuery's case) is more to try to work around the monstrosity known as the DOM; I dare anyone to say that the DOM isn't a total trainwreck of misdesign and a total pain in the ass to work with.

The problem with Javascript isn't a problem with Javascript at all, but instead of how it is perpetually perceived: a toy language that isn't capable of doing anything. Javascript is no less capable than Ruby or Python. Check out of all the cool things people do with Node; they are an excellent example of what can be done if you actually have a good runtime environment that isn't married to a browser (Spidermonkey was never a very good environment on its own, and Rhino was a basically a never-was despite having promise).

Comment Re:Persistent myth? (Score 2) 705

FWIW, I've never seen a garbage collector that actually worked 100%. We'd be better off writing good clean code instead of relying on them.

Garbage collectors for languages like C/C++ are conservative because they can't always tell what's a pointer to an object or not, so these will not work 100% of the time. In langauges where that isn't an issue (such as Java, Python, Ruby, whatever), the only time a garbage collector will fail is if it struggles with cyclical structures. Java's garbage collector works 100% of the time: if an object is not reachable, it will be reclaimed. Don't confuse this, however, with not having memory leaks; shitty developers who forget they've stashed a live reference to an object have only themselves to blame when the garbage collector does not rightly collect their object.

Comment Re:No... not buying this at all (Score 1) 295

So anything that is self-aware has a soul? What happens if we genetically engineer a breed of cats that are self-aware. Do they suddenly gain a soul? Why didn't they have one before? Where did their souls suddenly come from?

I'm personally at a loss to answer that question without resorting to the supernatural. Therefore it seems vastly more likely that the cats are self-aware and do not have a soul. So why then are the cats capable of being self-aware and have no soul but we as humans are self-aware and must have a soul in order to be self-aware? Perhaps the genetically engineered lines of cats is superior to us in some manner? Or more likely we never had souls to begin with, and neither do the cats. Souls then do nothing: they do not make something self-aware, they do not drive thought and behaviour. So why would humans have souls if souls serve no purpose?

Oh, and yes Elephants have souls, as do Chimps and at least some Gorillas. By your definition.

Not my definition, it was Vestins.

Comment Re:No... not buying this at all (Score 1) 295

as I like to put it: "it's like mistaking the blinking of a LED with the activity of a hard drive.

It's like mistaking the lack of knowledge pertaining as to how a program executes to mean that there is then something existential and magical about it.

It's that "you" could only be one of them - the one that is conscious. Otherwise - there would be no "you" (no person/mind/soul) to speak of.

I am me, the sum of my function and experiences. Destroy or change either or both, I am no longer me. I am someone else. Maybe I've shifted only slightly (minor hiccup between the brain in the jar and the automaton executing in the field and supplying the data), but I am still no longer the same person, if I ever truly was.

I suppose that we can both agree to a certain extent that I find no issue with believing I am "me" if my function and experience executes on a different hardware platform. However, I will not then deny that my original hardware and function and experience, if it is still executing, is now also "me", though certainly not the "me" that is executing on the new platform. Both are still persons if they continue to function as persons. Of course, I am also willing to extend this ad infinitum: all copies are "me" and persons.

I don't buy into the difference between a conscious person and a zombie. If a person behaves like a person, it's a person as far as I am concerned, at least until we can prove that it isn't a person. Funny, I also like duck-typed languages.

The real difference between us? I have no idea if any of what makes sense to me is true because there isn't much in the way of supporting evidence yet. So while what you say is "truth" what I say is merely amusing conjecture.

Comment Re:No... not buying this at all (Score 1) 295

I want to precede this with that I am not purposefully following you around this thread, it's just that as I read it I keep saying your name saying things I find puzzling.

That said, your analogy fails because there is no difference between computer hardware and computer software. Any software program can be converted completely to hardware and execute purely in hardware (see FPGA). At the other end any piece of hardware can be emulated in software. The brain and the soul are not analogous to computers in this sense, no matter how much hand waving and equivocating is done.

Comment Re:No... not buying this at all (Score 5, Interesting) 295

I find it interesting that you are so easily able to deny that something could not possibly be self-aware without a soul. Do you have any proof, any at all beyond hopes and dreams? Many modern philosophic theories of consciousness eliminate the necessity of the Cartesian theatre (I find Dennet's pretty compelling), and many experiments bear out a reality that would be quite bizarre if an external entity such as a soul really drove us.

As long as we are talking of merely feelings with no basis, I find no evidence to dissuade me that I am anything more than a meat machine with some clever biological and memetic tricks. I see no reason to increase the complexity of the system by necessitating that we have such (odd at least it seems to us) advanced biological machinery that is our brain with such complex parallel behaviour and yet it exists without purpose or meaning because it does nothing. Because requiring the existence of the soul which drives us means the brain is nothing, it serves no purpose. Why do you have it? Why does our body expend so much resources keeping it functioning? Our pure autonomic functions can be handled by the cerebellum and the spinal cord (and probably far less), the rest of it is totally meaningless.

Combine this with the fact that our brains share so many similarities with many of the animals around us, yet oddly (at least inasmuch as many humans find it necessary to place themselves on a higher pedestal than everything else around us) they have no soul, ought to make one stop and ponder again why one insists on declaring we have a soul and that is who we are and not the biological machine. Do elephants have souls? They are self aware, they recognise themselves in mirrors. Or do you subscribe to a school of thought where it would be impossible to say an elephant is self-aware yet will deny solipsism in the same breath?

Comment Re:About time (Score 1) 383

All it has to do is use non-blocking calls and make regular UI updates to make sure the user isn't aware of the single-threaded nature.

A non-blocking call implies multi-threaded design, genius.

No it doesn't. Silly example: it's possible to do non-blocking/pseudo-threading in Javascript in 1.7 because of generators. Single thread, but it's essentially cooperative multitasking. Io does something similar with actors, as can Erlang.

Comment Re:Read the Bible. (Score 1) 459

I imagine that back then they based death on the ability to determine if a person was breathing and if their heart was beating. Therefore, a brain dead person would still have been considered alive. A person in a coma would still be considered alive. You got it completely backwards.

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